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winesapOS is another way to get something like SteamOS on desktop

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While Valve has still yet to produce an official installable image of SteamOS 3 for desktops, as always the community provides and another worth looking into is winesapOS. Another I covered is HoloISO, which tries to stick quite closely to SteamOS 3 but winesapOS aims to be a bit more than that.

Originally called the "Mac Linux Gaming Stick", the aim was to give macOS users an easy bootable disk to run Linux to get expanded game compatibility but it rebranded a while ago to expand the scope for many more users.

From what one of the developers told me:

Our ultimate goal is not to provide the exact SteamOS experience that the Steam Deck provides like HoloISO does. We are focused on the desktop experience and expanding support for SteamOS by making the operating system work on a wide range of hardware.

In keeping with that goal, they have expanded hardware support on desktops / laptops and of course Apple Mac systems too. They also have much more up to date software compared with SteamOS, it supports UEFI and legacy BIOS, encrypted filesystem support, has the Pamac application for installing / updating other software and comes pre-installed with plenty of software like Steam, Heroic Games Launcher, Lutris, and PolyMC while still keeping the look and feel similar to SteamOS 3.

A big new release with version 3.1.0 went up recently with these highlights:

  • Arch Linux packages upgrades
  • Graphics driver upgrades with support for Intel, NVIDIA and virtual machines
  • Improved controller support
  • An improved upgrade procedure
  • A fork for the PlayStation 4

You can check out winesapOS on GitHub.

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Solarwing Jul 6, 2022
Oh no! Soon the star war 3 is upon us because of this horrible system. Trolls are already on the move. Beware!It's a final showdown between Mars and Earth. Yes Martians haven't forgotten the last defeat a million year ago when our ancestors
installed this cursed OS on robots to ensure the victory. So Martians have hold a grudge a very long time.So Martians won't rest until our beautiful planet is turned into a jelly with their giant ray guns And what about us? Well we'll be reduced to atoms and you know it's then very hard to support when you are in atomic level!A happy ending in an alternative reality ofc. But jokes aside I must say I'm surprised about WinesapOS.I didn't know its existence. It seems very promising. Maybe I should test it
Calinou Jul 6, 2022
Edit: Disregard what I said below, as winesapOS 3.1.0 seems to address precisely this. I was looking at the project's README last week, and there was no preinstalled NVIDIA driver back then. Thanks :)

I like the idea of a preinstalled machine on an USB stick for use as a testing device (when your PC only runs Windows and you can't dual boot for some reason). That said, I think it'd be more usable if the proprietary NVIDIA driver was preinstalled and ready to work on the live media. This is something that's missing in most live Linux distributions, but it massively improves the experience when you need to test a 3D application on a live Linux distribution (where VMs are unsuitable by design).

For those wondering, the use case here is to test Linux ports of 3D applications when you don't have a bare metal Linux installation elsewhere (e.g. when you work on Linux-specific code).

Last time I checked, Manjaro is one of the few distributions to provide a boot option for this, but I don't know if they still do.

Last edited by Calinou on 6 July 2022 at 3:25 pm UTC
denyasis Jul 6, 2022
This looks kinda cool. Might have to try it out!
Can8ian Jul 6, 2022
I think I will give WinesapOS a try. I am currently gaming on Ubuntu 20.04 with steam/proton. I have been patiently waiting for a proper SteamOS release for PC but I am getting impatient. Maybe WinesapOS can scratch that itch for now at least.
Mountain Man Jul 7, 2022
This distro's name reads like "WINE is a POS". Is that deliberate?
apconrads Feb 27, 2023
Install winwsapos

Hello, I'm trying to install winwsapos on my pc (not a Mac) but without success. I'm going to try the minimal option, my questions are:
1. After downloading, should I extract all compressed files?
2. After decompressing, I must send them all with the balena to the pendrive, how do I do that, since if I send it a second time, it will delete the first one?
3. Do the Source Code(zip) and Source Code(tar.gz) files need to be downloaded?
*If you can make a video tutorial, it will help a lot, even though I don't speak English.
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